UK’s Strongest Man 2019
UK’s Strongest Man 2019 was the biggest outdoor event of the year attracting 10,000 fans over 3 days. All the fans were amazed with the performances all 16 athletes displayed over the 3 days of immense competition. With the spotlight firmly set on the current UK’s Strongest Man Pa O’Dwyer and Britain’s Strongest Man Graham Hicks the other 14 other athletes had a point to prove to find out who would be this years UK’s Strongest Man.
Day 1 saw in Group A Andrew Flynn make a blistering start in his UKSM debut by setting a new UK record in the Husafelt stone with 75.80 metres to take the win along with the U23 UK’s Strongest Man Rob Spence with 60 metres. The second discipline was the head to head deadlift for maximum. From both groups big numbers were being set and Pa O’Dwyer won Group A with a massive 380KG. However, in Group B Graham Hicks set a message with a 400KG deadlift. The half time show record was the awesome Ste Stevens who was attempting to break the UK Record in the Dumbbell press of 124KG set by Eddie Hall. Unfortunately Ste had the lift locked out but before straightening his feet his knee gave way. However, Ste has promised to be back next year to break the record! The final Group discipline was the Pole Push. This wrestling test saw the Welsh Bull Gavin Bilton and the Highland Warrior Champion Jonathan Kelly take the event win to avoid the eliminator. With these results it meant the bottom 3 from each group would face the car hold eliminator to see who would make the semi Finals. The Group A eliminator saw Ryan Bennett come out victorious in an intriguing battle between Daniel Gracia and Chris McNaghten. In Group B saw Matt Dimond faint has he put so much effort into booking his place in the semi finals defeating Louis Jack and Sean Logan.
Day 2 had the surviving 12 athletes with 4 athletes getting eliminating from Day 1. In Day 2, another 2 athletes from each group would be eliminated and this would make our 8 man final. The first event was the Duck Walk and Anchor and Chain Drag. A real lung buster to kick off Day 2. This saw in Group A Paul Benton completing the course in a fast 30.75 secs. In Group B it was the U23 UK’s Strongest Man Rob Spence continuing his form from Day 1 and taking the first event win with a time of 64.08 secs. Event 2 was the Daddy Dumbbell for reps. This saw the UK’s Strongest Man Pa O’Dwyer win the event with 7 reps along with Mark Jeanes in Group B. The shock in this discipline one of the strongest shoulders in the UK Graham Hicks managed 5. The half time show was Andrea Thompson the World’s Strongest Woman who was attempting to break her own world record of 5 reps of 100KG in the log press. She managed to equal the record with 5 reps. The final event was the Cerberus Sack Toss. This was head to head and was a fan favourite. In Group A saw Pa O’Dwyer fire all 5 sacks over in 43.46 and in Group B Graham Hicks secured his place in the final with 5 sacks in a record time of 14.05. With these results it meant the bottom 3 from each group would face the car hold eliminator to see who would make the grand final. The Group A eliminator saw Scott Milne come out victorious in an intriguing battle between Ryan Bennett and Andrew Flynn. In Group B saw Chris Morgan faint has he put so much effort into booking his place in the grand final defeating Matt Dimond and Rob Spence. After Day 2 we had our 8 Finalists to see who would be UK’s Strongest Man 2019.
The Grand Final was looming with 5 disciplines left to see who would be crowned the UK’s Strongest Man 2019. With Pa O’Dwyer and Graham Hicks both making the final. Could this be a 2 horse race? The first discipline was the Railway Super Yoke, 400KG of pain bearing down on the backs of our competitors as they carry it up a 20 metre course. 7 out of 8 athletes completed the discipline but the winner was Graham Hicks of England with a blistering time of 14.96. Mark Jeanes placed second with the Scotsman Paul Benton placing third. The second event was the head to head log lift for maximum. A number of men split points with the 160KG log but it came down to Chris Morgan and Graham as both hit the 180 & 190KG log. the 200KG log was next and Graham Hicks was the closest but could not steady himself to earn the lift. Both men shared the points. The third discipline was the car roll. This was a crowd favourite last year and all 8 athletes were flying. However, it was Paul Benton who won the discipline with 19.66 secs. This placed Graham Hicks 2nd with 20.20 secs and Pa O’Dwyer 3rd with 21.60 secs. The fourth discipline was the truck pull. All competitors had to attempt to pull 2 trucks. All athletes found this event exceptionally challenging and it came down to distance and shear determination. Gavin Bilton set down the marker with a distance of 14.60 along with Paul Benton of Scotland. Graham Hicks struggled and placed 5th with a distance of 10.65. The final event was the stones of strength. It was between 2 men. Britain’s Strongest Man Graham Hicks had a half a point lead over Paul Benton, this meant who ever placed ahead in the stones would take the title. Both men rushed the first 2 stones up but it was Graham Hicks who capitalised on Paul’s slip to put up the 3rd. However, Graham couldn’t lift the 4th stone and Paul was determined enough to place the stone on the plinth to lift his first ever UK’s Strongest Man title. It cam down to the wire. The winner of the stone discipline was Pa O’Dwyer with 4 stones in 37.55 to secure his podium spot.
Paul Benton is UK’s Strongest Man 2019 and will be back in 2020 to try and win it again. Can he do it again? We will soon see….
If you enjoyed UK’s Strongest Man 2019, get your tickets for Team World Championship at Nottingham in November!